Thursday, August 24, 2017

SERIES OF SENATE HEARINGS ON TAX INITIATIVES OF THE DUTERTE ADMINISTRATION

On 24 Aug. 2017, PAGASA was invited once more to the august chambers of the Phil. Senate to attend the extended hearings on proposed tax on Sugar-Sweetened Beverage (SSB).  As usual, the room was filled and STC had to stand for two full hours before a medical practitioner vacated her seat after the doctors had attested to the varying but non-conclusive studies relating sugar intake from processed drinks to the incidence of diabetes in the different countries covered by various studies. The lawmakers were in a quandary as whether to tax SSB via the volume of these products per se or whether to do so based on the sugar-content of said products.  Adopting the latter seems more appropriate when attributing the incidence of diabetes to the amount of sugar intake of a patient from SSBs.  However, legislators are not sure whether our good people at the Food & Drugs Administration (FDA) are capable of releasing information about the level of sugar content of any given product as quickly as when a product is approved by them; so these products may be taxed accordingly soon as they are out in the market. Adopting the first approach is easier to implement but less fair given the direct proportion by which a product may lead to incidence of diabetes.

Friday, August 11, 2017

NATIONAL RETAILERS CONF. & EXHIBITION (NRCE) 2017

The annual Retailers Conference at the SMX from 10-11 of August 2017 by the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) was filled with retailers of all sizes, shapes and colors. The Philippine Amalgamated Supermarkets Assn. (PAGASA) is the food retail segment of the PRA and has been an Associate Member of the PRA for the last twenty years. The Conference had among others Mr. Irwin Lee/CEO of the Rustan Supercenters, Inc. (gray coat; maroon tie) who spoke authoritatively on global retail trends, Ms. Erica Ng/ Senior Editor of WGSN Insight Asia Pacific (HK) in black, Swede Mr. Anders Barlund of Phil. Mackinsey & Co. On its 30th year, PAGASA took care of the Breakout Session for Supermarkets on Day 1 from 3:00-5:00pm.  Guest Speakers were DTI Usec. Teodoro Pascua who spoke on the partnership between the public sector and retailers, Ms. Shirley Zhu of IGD based in Singapore on Asian Retail Trends and A.C. Nielsen’s Managing Director Patrick Cua on “Winning at Point of Sale.”  Songwriter Jim Paredes spoke on the importance of music in Establishments as an officer of FILSCAP. This year’s edition of the Conference was made “memorable” as an earthquake registering 6.1 on the Richter Scale momentarily interrupted the Conference and resulted in an early end for the annual event.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

THIRD QUARTER GENERAL MEETING OF PAGASA

For its 3Q GenMeet, PAGASA took over the whole of Sariwon Korean Barbecue’s 2nd floor at its branch in Promenade Arcade at the Greenhills Shopping Center on 2 August 2017.  Host for the evening was the British American Tobacco (Phils.), Ltd.>makers of Lucky Strike, Pall Mall and other famous brands of smokes. They clarified with PAGASA Members the IRR of the recently-passed Smoking Ban (E.O. 26) by the President.  Some supermarkets were wary of carrying cigarettes because of confusion brought about by this E.O. and the unclear guidelines that went with it regarding smoking areas and fines and penalties.  There were a few new members who joined the group this evening. B.A.T. also informed the group that with the very recent buying of  Reynolds American, Inc. by their Mother Company, they are  now the biggest cigarette manufacturer in the world. They went on to present the thrust of their company regarding the future of smokes worldwide.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

NPCC MEETING TO DETERMINE NEED TO EXTEND PRICE FREEZE IN MINDANAO

On 1 Aug. 2017, DTI Sec. Ramon Lopez called a Special Meeting for the members of the National Price Coordinating Council to determine whether there is need to extend the Price Freeze in Mindanao considering the extension of the state of Martial Law by the President in that southern island.  By law, price freezes last for 60 days and is not necessarily co-terminus with the state of calamity or Martial Law as declared in an area.  Usec. Ted Pascua explained the logic in determining the corresponding price ceiling when a price freeze is called to order.  Dir. Lilian Salonga explains how the field personnel of DTI monitored prices per province/area to come up with the report on price movements in the countryside.  When asked about the stability of the peso versus the U.S. dollar, representatives from the BSP showed their fearless forecast that barring any unforeseen circumstances, the peso should stabilize where it is today and should not negatively affect the prices of basic necessities and prime commodities.  After the NPCC Meeting, PAGASA’s STC was requested to stay behind for the press conference that took place at the BOI Building.